Only Online Auction

Geneva, Sep 22, 2021

LOT 35

Modernista Patent by Courvoisier Frères
Digital hours and retrograde minutes pocket watch; gilded metal

CHF 1,000 - 2,000

EUR 950 - 1,850 / USD 1,100 - 2,200 / HKD 8,600 - 17,100


Sold: CHF 2,750

Gilded metal, open-face, keyless-winding, round-shaped, pocket watch, with digital hours à guichet (with aperture), retrograde minute-hand and subsidiary seconds at 6.

Guilloché (engine-turned) case-back, with, in the centre, an escutcheon engraved with the cypher “F S R”.

Silver colour dial with radial Arabic numerals; blued steel hands.

Movement 18’’’, rhodium-plated, going barrel, straight-line lever escapement, uncut bimetallic compensated balancewith gold poising screws and blued steel flat hairspring, polished steel index-regulator.

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Image Image

Grading System
Grade: A


Case: 3-7-9




Movement: 3*


Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 3-01


HANDS Original

Brand Courvoisier Freres, La Chaux-de-Fonds

Model “Modernista Patent”

Year circa 1905

Movement No. unnumbered

Case No. 13 136

Material gilded metal

Diameter 50 mm.

Caliber 18’’’, lever escapement

Weight 89.1 gr. (approx.)

Signature cuvette (dome)

Accessories copy of the invention patent


Movement based on the Spanish invention patent No. 30 572, delivered on January 1st, 1903, to don Gabriel López-Mántaras Villa, Saragosse, for “Un procedimiento nuevo de señalar la hora en todos los sistemas de relojes mediante el mecanismo que se detalla en la memoria.” (A new method for indicating the time on all clock systems by means of the mechanism detailed in the report).

This patent is also registered in other countries:
· Swiss invention patent No. 27 838, delivered on May 5, 1903, to don Gabriel López-Mántaras Villa, Saragos, for a “Montre” (Watch).
· French invention patent No. 336 381, delivered on October 31, 1903, for a “Montre” (Watch).
· British invention patent No. 4 697, delivered on February 25, 1904, for “Improvements in watches”.
· German invention patent No. 152 621, delivered on June 22, 1904, for a “Uhr mit einem über einer sektorförmigen Minutenteilung des Zifferblattes sich bewegenden Minutenzeiger und mit springendem Studenziffernblatte”.
· Austrian invention patent No. 18 357, delivered on November 25, 1904, for a “Uhr mit springenden Stundenziffern und auf einer bogenförmigen Minutenteilung sich bewegendem, auf Null zurückspringendem Zeiger”.
· American invention patent, delivered on March 22, 1904, for a “Watch”.

Additional patents were granted:
· Swiss additional patent No. 538, delivered on April 28, 1905.
· French additional patent No. 4 739, delivered on July 13, 1905, for a “Montre”.
· American additional patent No. 864 177, delivered on August 27, 1907, for a “Watch”.

This model was produced by Courvoisier Frères, La Chaux-de-Fonds. The trademak “Modernista” was registered in 1903 for marketing Mántaras system watches.

This watch model is often found with a dial signed “Cigarrillos Excelsior”, made for the Argentinian cigar factory of Manuel Méndez de Andés (1846-?) industrialist and philanthropist from Buenos Aires, originally from Asturias (Spain).

Few examples, probably made after the First World War, bears on the dial the signature “Piccardo & Cia. Ltda”, another manufacture of tobacco from Buenos Aires.


The purchase price payable by a buyer will be the sum of the final bid price plus the buyer’s premium, together with any applicable sales or compensating use tax. In addition to the hammer price, the buyer’s premium is payable as follows: 25% of the hammer price on each lot.

Important notice – Special conditions Please look carefully at all the photos as they are an integral part of the description. Any defect not mentioned in the descriptions but visible on the photos will be considered as described and cannot lead to any claim. The dimensions are given as an indication and may slightly differ from the measures mentioned by the manufacturers especially for contemporary watches. The photos are not retouched. Colors may differ from reality. For timepieces, we guarantee neither the functioning nor the precision of the movement, nor the water-resistance of the case. In addition, please note that movements, parts of mechanisms or cases may be incomplete. The lots are sold “as is”, described to the best of our knowledge and cannot be returned. Once the online bid is placed by the bidder, it cannot be cancelled.